EP0773538B1 - Objective lens driving apparatus - Google Patents

Objective lens driving apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0773538B1
EP0773538B1 EP19960117968 EP96117968A EP0773538B1 EP 0773538 B1 EP0773538 B1 EP 0773538B1 EP 19960117968 EP19960117968 EP 19960117968 EP 96117968 A EP96117968 A EP 96117968A EP 0773538 B1 EP0773538 B1 EP 0773538B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
objective lens
means
light beam
lens holder
coil
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
EP19960117968
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP0773538A2 (en
EP0773538A3 (en
Inventor
Takashi c/o Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Yoshizawa
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Toshiba Corp
Original Assignee
Toshiba Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP293166/95 priority Critical
Priority to JP29316695 priority
Priority to JP29316695 priority
Application filed by Toshiba Corp filed Critical Toshiba Corp
Publication of EP0773538A2 publication Critical patent/EP0773538A2/en
Publication of EP0773538A3 publication Critical patent/EP0773538A3/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP0773538B1 publication Critical patent/EP0773538B1/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B7/00Recording or reproducing by optical means, e.g. recording using a thermal beam of optical radiation by modifying optical properties or the physical structure, reproducing using an optical beam at lower power by sensing optical properties; Record carriers therefor
    • G11B7/12Heads, e.g. forming of the optical beam spot or modulation of the optical beam
    • G11B7/135Means for guiding the beam from the source to the record carrier or from the record carrier to the detector
    • G11B7/1392Means for controlling the beam wavefront, e.g. for correction of aberration
    • G11B7/13925Means for controlling the beam wavefront, e.g. for correction of aberration active, e.g. controlled by electrical or mechanical means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B19/00Driving, starting, stopping record carriers not specifically of filamentary or web form, or of supports therefor; Control thereof; Control of operating function ; Driving both disc and head
    • G11B19/02Control of operating function, e.g. switching from recording to reproducing
    • G11B19/12Control of operating function, e.g. switching from recording to reproducing by sensing distinguishing features of or on records, e.g. diameter end mark
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B19/00Driving, starting, stopping record carriers not specifically of filamentary or web form, or of supports therefor; Control thereof; Control of operating function ; Driving both disc and head
    • G11B19/02Control of operating function, e.g. switching from recording to reproducing
    • G11B19/14Control of operating function, e.g. switching from recording to reproducing by sensing movement or position of head, e.g. means moving in correspondence with head movements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B7/00Recording or reproducing by optical means, e.g. recording using a thermal beam of optical radiation by modifying optical properties or the physical structure, reproducing using an optical beam at lower power by sensing optical properties; Record carriers therefor
    • G11B7/08Disposition or mounting of heads or light sources relatively to record carriers
    • G11B7/09Disposition or mounting of heads or light sources relatively to record carriers with provision for moving the light beam or focus plane for the purpose of maintaining alignment of the light beam relative to the record carrier during transducing operation, e.g. to compensate for surface irregularities of the latter or for track following
    • G11B7/0925Electromechanical actuators for lens positioning
    • G11B7/0935Details of the moving parts
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B7/00Recording or reproducing by optical means, e.g. recording using a thermal beam of optical radiation by modifying optical properties or the physical structure, reproducing using an optical beam at lower power by sensing optical properties; Record carriers therefor
    • G11B7/12Heads, e.g. forming of the optical beam spot or modulation of the optical beam
    • G11B7/135Means for guiding the beam from the source to the record carrier or from the record carrier to the detector
    • G11B7/1372Lenses
    • G11B7/1374Objective lenses
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B7/00Recording or reproducing by optical means, e.g. recording using a thermal beam of optical radiation by modifying optical properties or the physical structure, reproducing using an optical beam at lower power by sensing optical properties; Record carriers therefor
    • G11B7/12Heads, e.g. forming of the optical beam spot or modulation of the optical beam
    • G11B7/135Means for guiding the beam from the source to the record carrier or from the record carrier to the detector
    • G11B7/139Numerical aperture control means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B7/00Recording or reproducing by optical means, e.g. recording using a thermal beam of optical radiation by modifying optical properties or the physical structure, reproducing using an optical beam at lower power by sensing optical properties; Record carriers therefor
    • G11B2007/0003Recording, reproducing or erasing systems characterised by the structure or type of the carrier
    • G11B2007/0006Recording, reproducing or erasing systems characterised by the structure or type of the carrier adapted for scanning different types of carrier, e.g. CD & DVD

Description

  • This invention relates to an objective lens driving apparatus provided on an optical disc apparatus, and more particularly to an objective lens driving apparatus that not only switches objective lenses or apertures with different numerical apertures according to the type of a recording medium but also identifies the type of the selected objective lens/aperture.
  • With the recent development of optical information recording mediums, including optical discs and magneto-optical discs, objective lens driving apparatuses for use with the reproduction systems of those optical information recording mediums are actively being developed. Objective lens driving apparatuses have been widely used as compact disc (CDs) or CD-ROM driving apparatuses.
  • Recently, objective lens driving apparatuses have been developed for not only reproducing use but also recording use. Well-known recording methods used for those apparatuses are the magneto-optical recording method and the phase-modulation recording method. Many of such recording methods have been prescribed in detail by the standards. In recent years, however, a high-density recording optical disc aimed at improvements in the recording density has appeared and the research and development of optical discs of the high-density recording type have been done at a rapid rate. With such optical discs, for high-density recording, pits serving as data recording units are required to be made smaller than those on conventional CDs and the pits are needed to be searched for with high accuracy. An optical disc of the high-density recording type differs from a conventional CD in the thickness of the substrate. For an apparatus for reproducing the optical disc, the wavelength of a laser beam searching for pits is shorter and the numerical aperture of the objective lens is set larger so that the diameter of the beam spot formed on the optical disc may be smaller.
  • When various modification are made on new discs appearing one after another as described above, it is difficult for apparatuses of the above-described type to record and reproduce the data onto and from optical discs complying with the conventional standards. It is inconvenience to the users to prepare a disc apparatus according to the recording medium used.
  • To solve such a problem, a method of providing a plurality of optical heads with different focal lengths on a single optical disc apparatus has been proposed, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,235,581. With the disc apparatus, two optical heads are provided so as to enable tracking independently, thereby making it possible to record and reproduce the data onto and from a conventional compact disc, such as a compact disc.
  • In such a method, two optical heads are positioned so that they may face each other symmetrically with the center of the optical disc and the two optical heads cannot be placed side by side. Therefore, with an optical disc apparatus employing such a method, in the case of an optical disc (e.g., a CD ROM or MO) housed in a cartridge (caddie) with a window section, none of the two objective lenses can be positioned under the opening of the window section with a limited area. As optical disc apparatuses have been popularized, there have been great demands toward lower-cost apparatuses. The need for two optical heads, however, is an obstacle to such demands.
  • From this viewpoint, it is hoped that an optical head in which two or more objective lenses of different types are provided and which switches the objective lens therein will appear. With this configuration, the development of an optical head with a structure that can identify the type of the selected objective lens is also wanted.
  • EP-A-0 727 776 describes a prior art objective lens driving apparatus which has first and second objective lenses supported on a supporting structure so as to be selectively rotatable into the optical path of a light beam and so as to be shiftable parallel to the rotation axis for focussing purposes. An appropriate one of the objective lenses is selected and moved into the optical path after the type of medium present in the device is determined. This determination is carried out based on the analysis of the focussing signal.
  • JP-A-6-236570 describes a mechanism for switching objective lenses into an optical path by rotating a supporting structure carrying two objective lenses on different radially symmetrical positions. This reference also describes measures for identifying the respective objective lens.
  • EP-A-0 470 807 describes a further objective lens driving apparatus for selectively switching objective lenses into an optical path. The appropriate objective lens is seletected based on the determination of the medium by utilizing a hole in a cartridge holding the medium, which hole is sensed by means of a separate light emitting diode and an associated photo diode.
  • An object of the present invention is to provide an objective lens driving apparatus which can not only selectively switch between an objective lens/aperture of a type capable of recording and reproducing the data onto and from widely used optical information recording mediums and an objective lens/aperture of a type capable of recording and reproducing the data onto various types of optical information recording mediums expected to appear in the future, but also identify the type of the objective lens/aperture switched and selected.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is to provide an objective lens driving apparatus which includes at least two objective lense/apertures with different numerical apertures according to optical information recording mediums conforming to different standards, and has a simple configuration that can not only switch the objective lens/aperture according to the optical information recording medium but also identify the type of the objective lens/aperture switched and selected.
  • According to the present invention, there is provided an objective lens driving apparatus as defined in claim 1.
  • This invention can be fully understood from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of an optical disc apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a detailed block diagram of the disc drive unit shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of the optical disc shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a plan view of an objective lens driving apparatus that switches and drives the objective lens shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the optical pickup of the objective lens driving apparatus shown in FIG. 4;
  • FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the internal structure of the lens holder support of the optical pickup shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the lens holder of the optical pickup shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 8 schematically shows the optical pickup of FIG. 5 and an optical system related to the optical pickup;
  • FIG. 9 is a conceptual diagram to help explain the principle of floating the lens holder magnetically in the optical pickup shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIGS. 10A to 10F are perspectives view to help explain the principle of floating the lens holder magnetically in the arrangement of FIG. 9;
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a magnetic circuit for switching the objective lens in the optical pickup shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 12 is a waveform diagram of a signal that causes the magnetic circuit of FIG. 11 to switch the objective lens;
  • FIGS. 13A and 13B are plan views to help explain the objective lens switching operation by the objective lens driving apparatus;
  • FIGS. 14A and 14B are sectional views to help explain the operation of judging whether or not which objective lens is located in the laser optical path in the optical pickup shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 15 is a block diagram of a circuit that switches the driving system for the optical pickup on the basis of the judging operation of FIGS. 14A and 14B;
  • FIG. 16 is a schematic plan view of a shutter built in a disc apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 17 and 18 schematically show the optical systems of disc drive units in which the shutter shown in FIG. 16 has been built.
  • Hereinafter, an optical disc reproducing apparatus provided with an objective lens driving apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention will be explained by reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an optical disc reproducing apparatus that reproduces the data from an optical disc associated with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the disc drive section that drives the optical disc shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 illustrates the structure of the optical disc shown in FIG. 2.
  • With the optical disc reproducing apparatus of FIG. 1, when the user operates a key operation and display section 4, the recording data, that is, the video data, sub-video data, and audio data, is reproduced from the optical disc 10. The reproduced data is converted into a video signal and an audio signal in the apparatus, which are supplied to a monitor section 6 and a speaker section 8, respectively. The monitor section reproduces the image from the video signal and the speaker section reproduces the sound from the audio section.
  • There have been optical discs 10 with various structures. For instance, one commercially available optical disc of a high-density recording type on which the data has been recorded at a high density is such that as shown in FIG. 3, a recording layer, or a pair of structural members 18 in which a reflecting layer 16 is formed, is provided on a transparent substrate 14, with the pair of structural members 18 being laminated together with an adhesive layer 20 so that the recording layer 16 may be sealed in it. The optical disc 10 thus constructed has a central hole 22 made in its center, into which the spindle of a spindle motor 12 is inserted. Around the central hole 22, there is provided a clamping area 24 against which the optical disc 10 is pressed while the disc is rotating.
  • The area from the clamping area 24 to the outer edge of the optical disc 10 is determined to be an information recording area 25 in which information can be recorded on the optical disc 10. The optical disc shown in FIG. 3 has the information area 25 on each side of the disk. For each information recording area 25, its outer periphery area is determined to be a lead-out area 26 in which no information is normally recorded and its inner periphery area adjoining the clamping area 24 is determined to be a lead-in area 27 in which no information is normally recorded. The area between the lead-out area 26 and the lead-in area 27 is determined to be a data recording area 28. At the recording layer 16 in the information recording area 25, tracks are formed in a spiral continuously as an area in which data is to be recorded. The continuous tracks are divided into a plurality of sectors. Data is recorded on the basis of the sectors. The data recording area 28 in the information recording area 25 is an actual data recording area, in which the management data, the main video data, the sub-video data, and the audio data are recorded in the form of physical changes, such as pits. With the read-only optical disk 10, pit trains have been formed by a stamper on the transparent substrate 14. A reflecting layer is formed on the side of the transparent substrate 14 on which the pit trains have been formed by evaporation. The reflecting layer is used as a recording layer 14. In the read-only optical disk 10, grooves are not particularly made and the pit trains are determined to be tracks. Usually, such a high-density recording type of optical disc 10 has a transparent substrate 14 with a thickness of 0.6 mm, half of the thickness of the transparent substrate of a conventional optical disc, such as a CD or a CD-ROM, whose transparent substrate has a thickness of 1.2 mm.
  • With the optical disc reproducing apparatus that reproduces the data from such an optical disc 10, the optical disc 10 is loaded in an disc drive section 30, which drives the optical disc and searches the optical disc 10 using a light beam. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 2, the optical disc 10 is placed on a spindle motor 12 driven by a motor driving circuit 11 and is rotated by the spindle motor 12. Under the optical disc 10, an optical head, or an optical pickup 32, that focuses the light beam, or the laser beam, on the optical disc 10 is provided. The optical pickup 32, which will be explained in detail later, includes an objective lens 35 with a small numerical aperture for CD or CD-ROM and an objective lens 34 with a large numerical aperture for a high-density recording type of optical disc explained in FIG. 3. The optical pickup further includes an objective lens switching circuit 39 that generates a driving signal for switching between the objective lenses 34 and 35. When the type of the optical disc 10 to be searched, that is, whether the optical disc is of a conventional CD type or a high-density recording type, is determined, the objective lens switching circuit 39 operates to generate a driving signal. By the driving signal from the objective lens switching circuit 39, one of the objective lenses 34 and 35 is selected according to the determined type of optical disc 10 and is placed in the laser beam optical path.
  • The optical head 32 is placed on a guide mechanism so as to be able to move radially on the optical disc 10 to search for the information recording area, particularly the data recording area 28, and is traversed radially on the optical disc 10 by a feed motor 33 driven by the driving signal from a driving circuit 37. In the optical disc apparatus, the objective lenses 34, 35 are supported in a manner to allow movement along their optical axes and are moved along their optical axes in response to the driving signal from a focus driving circuit 36 so that the objective lenses 34, 35 may be always in focus, thereby forming a very small beam spot on the recording layer 16. Furthermore, as explained in detail later, the objective lenses 34, 35 are supported so as to move minutely across the radius of the optical disc 10 and are moved minutely in response to the driving signal from a track driving circuit 38 so as to be always kept in the tracking state, thereby causing the light beam to trace the tracks on the recording layer 16 of the optical disc 10.
  • The optical head 32 senses the light beam reflected by the optical disc 10 and supplies the sense signal to a servo processing circuit 44 via a head amplifier 40. The servo processing circuit 44 generates a focus signal, a tracking signal, and a motor control signal from the sense signal and supplies these signals to the focus driving circuit 36, track driving circuit 38, and motor driving circuit 11, respectively. As a result, the objective lenses 34, 35 are kept in the in-focus state and in the tracking state. Furthermore, the spindle motor 12 is rotated at a specific number of revolutions and the light beam traces a track on the recording layer 16 at, for example, a constant linear speed. When a system CPU section 50 supplies a control signal, or an access signal, to the servo processing circuit 44, the servo processing circuit 44 supplies a move signal to the driving circuit 37 and the optical head 32 is moved in the direction of the radius of the optical disc 10 and accesses a specific sector on the recording layer 16. The reproduced data is amplified by the head amplifier 40. The amplified signal is outputted from the disc drive section 30.
  • The outputted reproduced data is stored in a data RAM section 56 via the system CPU section and a system processor section 54 which are controlled by the programs stored in a system ROM and RAM section 52. The stored reproduced data is processed by the system processor section 54, which classifies the data into video data, audio data, and sub-video data. The video data, audio data, and sub-video data are supplied to a video decoder section 58, an audio decoder section 60, and a sub-video decoder section 62, respectively, which decode the respective data. The decoded video data, audio data, and sub-video data are converted by a D/A and reproducing circuit 64 into an analog video signal, analog audio signal, and analog sub-video signal. The D/A and reproducing circuit also performs a mixing process on the decoded video data, audio data, and sub-video data and supplies a video signal and a sub-video signal to the monitor 6 and an audio signal to the speaker 8. As a result, the monitor section 6 displays the image and the speaker section reproduces the sound.
  • The details of the optical pickup 32 of FIG. 2 and its guide mechanism will be described by reference to FIGS. 4 to 11.
  • The spindle motor 3 is fixed to a base 71 as shown in FIG. 4. The optical disc 10 rotated by the spindle motor 3 is held by chuck means (not shown). Under the optical disc 10, a pair of guide rails 73 placed in parallel with the disc in the direction of radius is secured to the base 71. On the guide rails 73, a carriage 72 that moves along the guide rails 73 is placed. An objective lens actuator shown in FIG. 5 is provided on the carriage 72.
  • The objective lens actuator shown in FIG. 5 is composed of a lens holder 75 capable of floating and rotating and a lens holder support 74 in which the lens holder 75 is housed. An actuator base 76 that is fixed to the carriage 72 and has an opening section 78 for a laser beam optical path is provided on the lens holder support 74. In the central portion of the actuator base 76, a shaft 77 is secured. In the support 74, an arc-shaped yoke 79 is secured to the actuator base 76 along the circumference around the shaft 77. In the arc-shaped yoke 79, two pairs of arc-shaped permanent magnets 81, 82 are placed symmetrically around the shaft 77, with a set of magnets facing each other being magnetized in the same direction. One set of permanent magnets 81 is magnetized so that the north (N) pole and the south (S) pole may be arranged along the shaft 77 as shown in FIG. 6. The other set of permanent magnets 82 is magnetized along the arc of the circular arc of the arc-shaped yoke 79 as shown in FIG. 6.
  • The lens holder 75 is formed into a roughly circular cylinder as shown in FIG. 7. On the top surface of the lens holder, the objective lens 35 for CD or the like and the objective lens 34 of a high-density recording type are provided. Under the objective lenses 34, 35, a cavity is provided so as to allow laser beams to pass through. The objective lenses 34, 35 are fixed to the lens holder 75 so that their optical axes may be located on the same circumference around the center of the lens holder 75. In the center of the lens holder 75, bearings 83 into which the shaft 77 is inserted are fixed. The bearings 83 enable the shaft 77 to support the lens holder 75 so that the holder may rotate and make an up-and-down movement. Around the lens holder 75, magnetic materials 84 are embedded symmetrically with the shaft 77. On the magnetic materials 84, four magnetic coils 85, 86 are secured so that they may be arranged symmetrically with the shaft 77.
  • At the side of the lens holder 75 near the objective lens 35, a reflecting element 92, for example, a reflecting mirror or a reflecting prism, is provided as shown in FIG. 7. The reflecting element 92 is positioned in the optical path of the laser beam so that part of the laser beam heading for the objective lens 35 may enter the reflecting element. As shown in FIG. 8, a sensor 100 that senses part of the light beam reflected by the reflecting element 92 is provided in the lens holder support 74. When one of the objective lenses 34, 35 is selected and the reflecting element 92 is positioned in the laser beam optical path as described later, part of the laser beam is reflected by the reflecting lens 92 and is sensed by the sensor 100. Aperture stops that limit the laser beam entering the objective lenses 34, 35 are usually provided on the light source side of the objective lenses 34, 35. The reflecting element 92 is placed on the light source of the aperture stops so as to reflect part of the laser beam that should have been limited by the aperture stops. From the viewpoint of placing the reflecting element 92 so as to reflect part of the laser that should have been limited by the aperture stops, it is desirable that the reflecting element 92 should be provided on the side of the lens holder 75 near the objective lens 35 with the small aperture for reproducing a CD or the like in terms of space. The reflecting element is not limited to a separate element. For instance, it may be such that part of the lens holder 75 is formed at a reflecting surface or that part of the aperture stop is formed into a reflecting surface.
  • The optical pickup 32 and an optical unit 90 of the optical system related to the optical pickup 32 are shown in FIG. 8. The optical unit 90 including a semiconductor laser 94 that generates a laser beam focused on the optical disc 10 is housed and secured in the internal space of the carriage 72, a movable body. The laser beam generated by the semiconductor laser 94 in the optical unit 90 is collimated by the collimator lens 91. The collimated beam is reflected by a beam splitter 93 and the resulting beam is directed outside the optical unit 90. The laser beam from the optical unit 90 is directed to either objective lens 34 or objective lens 35 in the optical pickup 32 fixed on the carriage 72. Either objective lens 34 or objective lens 35 focuses the laser beam on a recording track on the optical disc 10. The laser beam reflected by the optical disc 10. passes through one of the objective lenses 34, 35 again and is returned to the optical unit 90. In the optical unit 90, the laser beam passes through the beam splitter 93 and is separated by a beam splitter 95 into two sub-beams. The respective beams are gathered by condenser lenses 96, 97. These condensed beams are sensed by a first photodetector 98 and a second photodetector 99 provided in the optical unit 5. Using the sense signals from the photodetectors 98, 99, an information signal, focus error signal, track error signal, etc. are generated as described earlier. Use of the focus error signal enables the positional error of the selected one of the objective lenses 34, 35 in the focus direction to be sensed. To correct the positional error, current is supplied to one of the coils 85, 86 as explained later. In addition, use of the track error signal enables the positional error of the objective lenses 34, 35 in the track direction to be sensed. Current is supplied to the other of the coils 85, 86 so as to correct the positional error. In this way, the information is recorded onto a recording track on the optical disc 10 and the information is read from the recording track on the optical disc 10.
  • The details of the operation of the optical pickup 32 will be explained.
  • First, the reason why the lens holder 75 is floated magnetically by what is called a magnetic spring within the lens holder support 74. As described earlier, in the lens holder 74, two pairs of permanent magnets 81, 32 are arranged symmetrically around the shaft 77 of the lens holder support 74. On each of the permanent magnets 81, 82, magnetic materials 84 are placed so as to face each other with a gap between them. Specifically, the magnetic materials 84 are arranged symmetrically around the shaft 77 and are secured to the lens holder 75. Consequently, the magnetic materials 84 are attracted by the permanent magnets 81, 82 in such a manner that the permanent magnets 81, 82 and magnetic materials 84 are kept in a neutral position or in a stable state, as shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B. As a result, the lens holder 75 is floated magnetically within the lens holder support 74. In this situation, when disturbance is given to the lens holder 75 and the magnetic material 84 has deviated upward from the neutral position as shown in FIG. 10C, the downward force to put the magnetic material 84 back to the neutral position greater than the upward force is exerted on the magnetic material 84, so that the magnetic material 84 is returned to the neutral position. Similarly, when disturbance is given to the lens holder 75 and the magnetic material 84 has deviated downward from the neutral position as shown in FIG. 10E, the upward force to put the magnetic material 84 back to the neutral position greater than the downward force is exerted on the magnetic material 84, so that the magnetic material 84 is returned to the neutral position. Furthermore, when disturbance is given to the lens holder 75 and the magnetic material 84 has deflected rightward along the circumference from the neutral position as shown in FIG. 10D, the leftward force to put the magnetic material 84 back to the neutral position greater than the rightward force is exerted on the magnetic material 84, so that the magnetic material 84 is returned to the neutral position. Similarly, when disturbance is given to the lens holder 75 and the magnetic material 84 has deflected leftward along the circumference from the neutral position as shown in FIG. 10F, the rightward force to put the magnetic material 84 back to the neutral position greater than the leftward force is exerted on the magnetic material 84, so that the magnetic material 84 is returned to the neutral position.
  • The magnetic materials 84 are arranged in axisymmetric positions. When the lens holder 75 is rotated and the objective lens is switched as explained later, magnetic attraction causes the position of the first objective lens 34 in the neutral position to coincide with the neutral position of the second objective lens 35, so that the second objective lens 35 can be used in the state where the optical unit 90 and the first objective lens 34 have been adjusted.
  • Now, the switching operation for selecting either objective lens 34 or objective lens 35 will be explained. With the objective lens 34 with the large numerical aperture being put in the optical path of the laser beam as shown in FIG. 7 and FIG. 13A, the coil 85 is assumed to face the permanent magnet 82 magnetized in the circumferential direction and the coil 86 is assumed to face the permanent magnet 81 magnetized in the axial direction. This state corresponds to the neutral state already described, in which the lens holder 75 is kept in place stably. In the stable state, when a positive current as shown by arrow P0 is supplied to the coil 85 at time t1 as shown in FIG. 12, the axial direction portions 85A, 85B of the coil 85 parallel to the axis 77 are supplied with a current interacting with a magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet 82, which produces force FR that generates torque in the circumferential direction, causing the lens holder 75 to start to rotate. During the interval between time t1 to time t2, starting force that rotates the lens holder 75 sufficiently is exerted on the coil 85. At time t2 that the coil 85 has begun to rotate and the coil portion 85B on the outgoing side of the coil 85 faces the south (S) pole of the permanent magnet 82, the current supplied to the coil 85 is inverted as shown in FIG. 12. The inversion produces torque FR that moves the coil 85 away from the permanent magnet 82 between the coil portion 85B on the outgoing side of the coil 85 and the S pole of the permanent magnet 82. The torque is applied to the coil 86. As a result, the coil 86 is rotated toward the front side of the permanent magnet 81. At time t3 in the course of rotation, the supply of current to the coil 86 ie stopped. After time t3, the lens holder 75 rotates under its inertia. Although the coil 86 passes the neutral point of the permanent magnet 81 temporarily, the coils 85, 86 are returned to the stable neutral position according to the principle explained in FIGS. 10A to 10F. In this way, the rotation of the lens holder 75 causes the coil 86 to face the permanent magnet 82 and the coil 85 to face the permanent magnet 81 and places the objective lens 35 with the small numerical aperture in the optical path of the laser beam in place of the objective lens 34 with the large numerical aperture, which virtually switches the objective lens.
  • In a case where the lens holder 75 is rotated and the objective lenses 34, 35 are thereby switched, when the clearance between the rotating shaft 77 and the bearings 83 is set at 10 microns or less, the installation position error between the first objective lens 34 and the second objective lens can be ignored.
  • Now, the focusing operation and tracking operation of the optical pickup 32 of FIG. 5 will be explained.
  • With the objective lens 34 with the large numerical aperture being put in the optical path of the laser beam as shown in FIG. 7 and FIG. 13A, the coil 86 facing the permanent magnet 81 magnetized in the axial direction for focus control acts as a focus control coil and the coil 85 facing the permanent 82 magnetized along the circumference for tracking control acts as a tracking control coil. Specifically, when a focus coil driving current Fi is supplied to the coil 86 in response to the focus error signal, the circumferential direction portions 86A, 86B of the coil 86 interact with a magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet 81, which causes upward or downward force to act on the coil 86 according to the direction of the current Fi, moving the lens holder 75 upward or downward along the axial direction and thereby keeping the objective lens 34 in the in-focus state. When a tracking coil driving current Ti is supplied to the coil 85 in response to the tracking error signal, the axial direction portions 85A, 85B of the coil 85 interact with a magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet 82, which causes rightward or leftward force to act on the coil 85 according to the direction of the current Ti, rotating the lens holder 75 in the circumferential direction and thereby keeping the objective lens 34 in the on-track state.
  • As explained earlier, after the objective lens has been switched to the objective lens 35, the objective lens 35 with the small numerical aperture is put in the optical path of the laser beam as shown in FIG. 13B. In this state, the coil 85 facing the permanent magnet 81 magnetized in the axial direction for focus control acts as a focus control coil and the coil 86 facing the permanent 82 magnetized along the circumference for tracking control acts as a tracking control coil. Specifically, when a focus coil driving current Fi is supplied to the coil 85 in response to the focus error signal, the circumferential direction portions 85C, 86D of the coil 85 interact with a magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet 81, which causes upward or downward force to act on the coil 85 according to the direction of the current Fi, moving the lens holder 75 upward or downward along the axial direction and thereby keeping the objective lens 34 in the in-focus state. When a tracking coil driving current Ti is supplied to the coil 86 in response to the tracking error signal, the axial direction portions 86C, 86D of the coil 86 interact with a magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet 82, which causes rightward or . leftward force to act on the coil 86 according to the direction of the current Ti, rotating the lens holder 75 in the circumferential direction and thereby keeping the objective lens 34 in the on-track state.
  • As described above, with the objective lens driving apparatus of the present invention, the coils that perform a tracking operation without externally applied force switch objective lens 34 to objective lens 35 or vice versa, there is no possibility that excessive force will act on the objective lenses and incline their optical axes, enabling the reproduction of a stable signal. When the coils 85, 86 switch between the objective lenses 34, 35, this changes the role of the objective lens from tracking operation to focusing operation or vice versa, resulting in not only the improved utilization of the coils but also the improved driving sensitivity.
  • Since the objective lenses 34, 35 switched by the same coil are for either tracking operation or focusing operation, depending on the situation, it is possible to verify which objective lens is in use without an additional sensing device by forcing current to flow through either coil 85 or coil 36 and sensing the direction of movement of the objective lenses 34, 35. The verifying operation will be explained by reference to FIGS. 14A and 14B.
  • FIGS. 14A and 14B show the relationship between the reflecting element 92 and the sensor 100 which judges which objective lens is placed in the laser optical path in the optical pickup of FIG. 5. As shown in FIGS. 5, 7, and 8, the reflecting element 92 is assumed to be positioned near the objective lens 35 with the small aperture. As shown in FIG. 14A, when the lens holder 75 is rotated and the objective lens 35 is put in the optical path of the laser beam, part of the laser beam is reflected by the reflecting element 92. The reflected part of the laser beam is sensed by the sensor 100. When the sensor 100 outputs a sense signal, it is judged that the CD objective lens 35 with the small aperture is in the effective state and the CD objective lens 35 is in the laser beam optical path. In contrast, as shown in FIG. 14B, when the objective lens 34 with the large aperture for high-density recording optical discs is positioned in the optical path of the laser beam, part of the laser beam is not reflected toward the sensor 100 because the reflecting element 92 is not provided near the objective lens 34, so that the laser beam is not sensed by the sensor 100. Accordingly, the sensor 100 does not output a sense signal, from which it is judged that the objective lens 34 with the larger aperture for high-density recording optical discs is in the effective state and the objective lens 34 for high-density recording discs is in the laser beam optical path.
  • FIG. 15 is a block diagram of a circuit that switches the drive circuit according to the objective lens switching signal. In the circuit shown in FIG. 15, an objective lens identifying circuit 104 that generates an identification signal for identifying the types of the objective lenses 34, 35 according to the presence or absence of the sense signal from the sensor 100 is connected to the sensor 100 and the identification signal from the objective lens identifying circuit 104 is inputted to the CPU 50 as the need arises. When the objective lens identifying circuit 104 supplies the identification signal to the system CPU section 50, the identification signal is compared with the medium type identification signal from the key operation and display section 4, the medium type identification signal indicating whether the medium to be loaded is an optical disc of the high density type or an ordinary optical disc, such as a CD. When the type of the medium coincides with the type of the objective lens, the reproducing operation is just started. When they do not coincide with each other, the objective lens switching signal of FIG. 12 is generated, the type of objective lens is switched.
  • In the circuit of FIG. 15, a focus error signal generator circuit 103, a focus servo circuit 105, one of coils 85 and 86, and one of driving circuits 106 and 108 corresponding to the coil constitute a focus servo loop. A tracking error signal generator circuit 111, a track servo circuit 107, one of coils 85 and 86, and one of driving circuits 106 and 108 corresponding to the coil constitute a tracking servo loop. In the circuit of FIG. 15, a servo loop switching circuit 110 is provided between the focus servo circuit 105 and track servo circuit 107 and between the driving circuit 106 and driving circuit 108. In response to the identification signal from the objective lens identifying circuit 104 that identifies the types of the objective lenses 34, 35 as described earlier, the servo loop switching circuit 110 switches the connection so that the CPU 50 may form a suitable servo loop. Specifically, when the coil 85 functions as a focus coil, the signal from the CPU 50 activates the servo loop switching circuit 110, which connects the driving circuit 106 connected to the coil 85 to the focus servo circuit 105 and the driving circuit 108 connected to the coil 86 to the tracking servo circuit 107. Similarly, when the coil 85 functions as a tracking coil, the signal from the CPU 50 activates the servo loop switching circuit 110, which connects the driving circuit 106 connected to the coil 85 to the tracking servo circuit 107 and the driving circuit 108 connected to the coil 86 to the focusing servo circuit 105.
  • In the objective lens switching and driving apparatuses, if the number of objective lenses is n, it is desirable that a 2n number of permanent magnets and a 2n number of coils should be arranged circumferentially to form a magnetic circuit. In this arrangement, the coils and permanent magnets facing each other form a magnetic circuit for focusing and tracking control, which exerts equal force on the lens holder in focusing control and tracking control, enabling the lens holder to be driven in a well-balanced manner with high accuracy. That is, not only the vibration characteristic but also the driving characteristic are improved.
  • As explained until now, according to the present invention, in an objective lens driving apparatus where objective lenses of different types are fixed to a lens holder and the lens holder is rotated for selection of an objective lens, a reflecting element that reflects part of the laser beam heading for one objective lens is provided on the lens holder near the objective lens and a sensor that senses the presence or absence of the reflected light beam from the reflecting element is provided. This enables the type of the objective lens put in the laser optical path to be identified easily according to the presence or absence of the sense signal from the sensor. According to the identification result, the optical pickup is controlled suitably.
  • While in the above embodiment, the objective lens 34 is switched to the objective lens 35 or vice versa, the present invention may be applied to a system that projects a laser beam on the optical disc 10 with the optimum numerical aperture obtained by combining a common objective lens 34 with a large diameter with apertures 54 and 59. Specifically, the invention may be applied to an apparatus as shown in FIG. 16 where a shutter 60 having a small aperture 59 and a large aperture 54 is prepared and the shutter 60 is inserted between the beam splitter 93 and the objective lens 34 as shown in FIGS. 17 and 18. In this apparatus, the reflecting mirror 92 is fixed on the shutter 60 near the small aperture 59.
  • With such an apparatus, the aperture selecting mechanism 55 moves the shutter 60 and the large aperture 54 is selected, the optical sensor 100 does not sense the light beam because the reflecting mirror 92 does not exist in the optical path of the light beam heading for the aperture 54 as shown in FIG. 17. Therefore, the sensor 100 does not generate a sense signal, from which it is judged that the objective lens 34 with the large aperture for high-density recording optical discs is in the effective state and that the objective lens 34 with the numerical aperture for high density optical discs is in the laser beam optical path. In contrast, when the aperture selecting mechanism 55 moves the shutter 60 and the small aperture 59 is selected, the reflecting mirror 92 is put in the optical path of the light beam heading for the aperture 59 as shown in FIG. 18, so that the reflecting mirror 92 reflects part of the light beam toward the optical sensor 100. Therefore, the sensor 100 generates a sense signal, from which it is judged that the objective lens 34 with the small aperture for CDs is in the effective state and that the objective lens 34 with the numerical aperture for CDs is in the laser beam optical path.
  • As described above, the reflecting element that reflects part of the laser beam heading for the objective lens is provided on the shutter and the sensor that senses the presence or absence of the reflected light beam from the reflecting element is provided. This makes it possible to easily identify the effective aperture of the objective lens put in the laser optical path according to the presence or absence of the sense signal from the sensor. According to the identification result, the optical pickup is controlled suitably.

Claims (8)

  1. An objective lens driving apparatus comprising:
    means (90) for generating a light beam toward an optical path;
    first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59) for converting said light beam into a first and second condensed beam;
    supporting means (74,75;60) for movably supporting said first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59);
    driving means (85,81,82,86;55) for moving said supporting means and selectively placing one of the first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59) in the optical path of the light beam;
    reflecting means (92) that is provided on the supporting means (74,75;60) and near one of said first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59) and is capable of reflecting part of the light beam heading for one of the first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59); and
    identifying means (100,104) for sensing the light beam reflected by said reflecting means (92) and identifying one of the first and second light beam converting means (34,35;34,54,59) placed in said optical path.
  2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
       said first and second light beam converting means comprise a first objective lens (34) and a second objective lens (35) having optical axes;
       said means (90) for generating the light beam is arranged to direct the light beam on the optical path toward one of the first objective lens (34) and second objective lens (35);
       said supporting means comprises
    a lens holder (75) that has a rotational center axis and supports the first objective lens (34) and second objective lens (35) and
    supporting means (74) that rotationally supports said lens holder (75) on the rotational center axis and allows the lens holder (75) to move along the rotational center axis to move one of the objective lenses (34,35) along the optical axis;
       said driving means comprises objective lens driving means (85,81,82,86) for rotating said lens holder (75) to select one of said objective lenses (34,35), for placing the selected objective lens (34,35) in the optical path of the light beam, for causing the selected objective lens (34,35) to focus the light beam on a recording medium (10), for moving said lens holder (75) minutely along the optical axis of the objective lens (34,35) to adjust the focus of the objective lens (34,35), and for rotating said lens holder (75) minutely to cause the objective lens (34,35) to track a desired area of the said recording medium (10);
       said reflecting means (92) is provided on the lens holder (75) and near one of said first and second objective lenses (34,35) and is capable of reflecting part of the light beam heading for one of the first and second objective lenses (34,35); and
       said identifying means (100,104) is arranged for sensing the light beam reflected by said reflecting means (92) and identifying one of the objective lenses (34,35) placed in said optical path.
  3. An apparatus according to claim 2, characterized in that said objective lens driving means (85,81,82,86) includes
       first electromagnetic driving means (82,85) that is composed of at least a first magnet (82) and a first coil (85) and is adapted to rotate said lens holder (75) around the rotational axis in selecting the first objective lens (34), and
       second electromagnetic driving means (81,86) that is composed of at least a second magnet (81) and a second coil (86) and is adapted to move said lens holder (75) along and in parallel with the rotational axis in selecting the first objective lens (34), the first magnet (82) and second coil (86) constituting third electromagnetic driving means (82,86) that is adapted to rotate said lens holder (75) around the rotational axis and the second magnet (81) and first coil (85) constituting fourth electromagnetic driving means (81,85) that is adapted to move said lens holder (75) along and in parallel with the rotational axis, when said lens holder (75) switches the objective lens (34) by rotating beyond the tracking range and the second objective lens (35) has been selected.
  4. An apparatus according to claim 3, characterized in that said first magnet (82), first coil (85), second magnet (81), and second coir (86) are arranged in point symmetry with the rotational axis.
  5. An apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said identifying means (100,104) includes sensing means (100) for sensing part of the light beam and generating a sense signal and identification signal generating means (104) for generating a light beam converting means identification signal on the basis of the sense signal.
  6. An apparatus according to claim 2, 3 or 4, characterized in that said identifying means (100,104) includes sensing means (100) for sensing part of the light beam and generating a sense signal and identification signal generating means (104) for generating an objective lens identification signal on the basis of the sense signal.
  7. An apparatus according to claim 6, characterized in that said identifying means (100,104) further includes a switching circuit (110) that, in response to said identification signal, is adapted to switch at least one coil (85,86) from connection with a control circuit (107,111) that executes a tracking operation to connection with a control circuit (103,105) that executes a focusing operation and also to switch the same number of coils (85,86) from the connection with the control circuit (103,105) that executes a focusing operating to connection with the control circuit (107,111) that executes a tracking operation.
  8. An apparatus according to claim 1 or 5, wherein
       said first and second light beam converting means comprise a common objective lens (34) arranged in the optical path and first and second apertures (54,59);
       said supporting means comprises a shutter (60) supporting said first and second apertures (54,59);
       said driving means comprises a aperture selecting mechanism (55) for moving the shutter (60) to select one of said apertures (54,59), for placing the selected aperture (54,59) in the optical path of the light beam, for causing the selected aperture (54,59) in combination with the common objective lens (34) to focus the light beam on a recording medium (10); and
       said reflecting means (92) is provided on the shutter (60) and near one of said first and second apertures (54,59) and is capable of reflecting part of the light beam heading for one of the apertures (54,59); and
       said identifying means (100,104) is arranged for sensing the light beam reflected by said reflecting means (92) and identifying one of the apertures (54,59) placed in said optical path.
EP19960117968 1995-11-10 1996-11-08 Objective lens driving apparatus Expired - Lifetime EP0773538B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP293166/95 1995-11-10
JP29316695 1995-11-10
JP29316695 1995-11-10

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EP0773538A2 EP0773538A2 (en) 1997-05-14
EP0773538A3 EP0773538A3 (en) 1998-03-18
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US6256283B1 (en) * 1996-10-01 2001-07-03 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Optical pickup having a common light beam path for passing either of a plurality of kinds of light beams
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US5673247A (en) * 1995-11-29 1997-09-30 Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha Optical pickup having two objective lenses

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US5864523A (en) 1999-01-26
EP0773538A3 (en) 1998-03-18
EP0773538A2 (en) 1997-05-14
KR970029419A (en) 1997-06-26
KR100248459B1 (en) 2000-03-15
US5999507A (en) 1999-12-07
DE69627784T2 (en) 2004-02-26
DE69627784D1 (en) 2003-06-05

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